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11 July 2010

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d m nolan

I find it to be informative and entertaining to make a daily perusal of Haaretz. The Left is alive and loud in Israel. There, writers are free to criticize Bibi, the Likud, the IDF, etc., without being condemned as "anti-Semites." It's a pleasure to hear the Israeis speak for themselves rather than through an American interpreter.

N M Salamon

it appears that uncurable insanity has taken over the Israel Government. Their aim seems to be pariah entity of the world. I hope they do not suck the USA into a fatal whirlpool.

MRW.

A counter to Netanyahu's ridiculous second point is this interview recently with Seymour Hersh, in which he addresses this point directly.

Start at around 21 minutes:
http://pulsemedia.org/2010/07/07/seymour-hersh-on-journalism-afghanistan-and-iraq/#more-25499

John Howley

Regarding Hamas, Bibi is simply pandering to his political base. If he aspired to real leadership, then he would be attempting to shift Israeli pubic opinion in a more constructive direction.

Sy Hersch makes an interesting point: "everybody knows that all of our Pashto translators are vetted by the Taliban but nobody will say it because it confirms the impossibility of the task..." (paraphrase).

(By "everybody" I presume he means journalists covering the war.)

If his assertion is true, then it's a powerful argument and almost fits on a bumpersticker.

Roy G

Helena Cobban hits the nail on the head, in answer to the last 3 SST posts:

Military spending: The real crisis for Israel and the U.S.
http://justworldnews.org/archives/004067.html

Thanks to the ever-vigilant Didi Remez we learn that many of the 'scare stories' about Hizbullah, Lebanon etc, that have been coming out of Israel's defense ministry in recent days have been motivated by-- no, not any real concern about new developments in Lebanon, but more by a desire by defense minister Ehud Barak to fight hard against... the finance ministry's current demands for spending cutbacks.

Remez translates into English an article in today's Maariv that starts with this:

“Ehud Barak is the most expensive defense minister in Israel’s history”; “The IDF is impertinently disregarding all of the Brodet Commission’s findings, while deceiving the public”; “it’s interesting how every time the military budget is on the table, they release from the stocks Hezbollah’s missile array and expose sensitive classified material,” — these are just some of the harsh statements that were heard over the weekend among senior Finance Ministry officials and directed against the IDF and the security establishment.
A brutal struggle over the Defense Ministry’s budget is expected next week. Finance Ministry officials, headed by the finance minister versus the security establishment headed by the defense minister. A personal dual in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to give the final ruling.

Israeli Finance Ministry explains recent IDF-sourced Hezbollah stories
http://coteret.com/2010/07/11/israeli-finance-ministry-explains-recent-idf-sourced-hezbollah-stories/

Jackie

Pat,
Would you please clear something up for me? This morning I was watching FNS also, although in a thunderstorm with the big HDTV blipping out and getting a weak signal.

Was Nyahoo complaining about Iran being in violation of the NPT? I really thought I heard him yammering on about that between interuptions of the broadcast. If so, what chutzpa!
Thank you,

Patrick Lang

Jackie

I heard that as well and thought it surprising. Is Israel a signatory? pl

Jackie

Pat,
You know the answer is a BIG NO!!! Nuclear ambiquity and all that. I was having a real problem with the "non-signatory" bitching about a "signatory" country. I think the Israelis like the nuclear blackmail option.

Jake

Ed Gillespie would not know the meaning of success if he won an election. The man is a blithering idiot.

" Is Israel a signatory?" No they are not and are even blocking IAEA from inspections of their own facilities while complaining about Iran.

Now that is real chutzpa!

Allen Thomson


> Is Israel a signatory?

No. Israel's nukes aren't in violation of the NPT, because Israel hasn't signed it. That's a persistent and current sore point.

DanM

John,

If Hersch wrote: "everybody knows that all of our Pashto translators are vetted by the Taliban but nobody will say it because it confirms the impossibility of the task..." then he's flat wrong. As if the Pashtuns were a sea of undifferentiated "taliban!"

This of course does not mean it's all puppies and sunshine, but that's a profoundly ignorant comment for him to have made.

Adam L Silverman

Sir,

Israel is not a signatory.

confusedponderer

Mr. Lang,
no Israel isn't a mamber of the NPT, more it pointedly refuses to ever sign that treaty while demanding that Iran meets its treaty obligations.

Obama: Israel should sign NPT
and the Israeli response to the idea:
Israel rejects call to join anti-nuclear treaty

All 189 parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the United States, called on Friday in a declaration that singled out Israel for a conference in 2012 to discuss banning weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East.

"As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel," the Israeli government said in an emailed statement.

"Given the distorted nature of this resolution, Israel will not be able to take part in its implementation," it said.
...
... the Israeli statement said: "This resolution is deeply flawed and hypocritical. It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world."

As in: We are special, a different standard applies to us.

Now, of course, if Iran made such an argument and left the NPT, the US would be under grave domestic political pressure to bomb them next week.

It's indeed quite an impertinent stance to take, not that that would deter Netanyahu, or concern his American counterparts.

The neo-cons want the NPT dead anyway, since it inserts an objective and ideally neutral third party - inspectors (yuck!) - who have a demonstrated tendency to get in the way of tall tale and assertions of enemy capabilities (think Iraq and the campaign against the inspectors). The Israelis would probably call such a reality check 'delegitimisation'.

These people have a zero sum game world view and can't have neutrals. Either your with them or you're with the enemy. Just look what they did to Judge Goldstone.

John Bolton has for his part bluntly admitted in an interview that he was sorely disappointed when Iran didn't leave the NPT as a result of his pressure - and in doing so he admitted that his 'tough enforcement of the treaty' was actually aimed at wrecking it. It was solely a means to the end of creating a casus belli towards Iran, just as the sanctions regime was a vessel to generate first regime change vis a vis Iraq before.

My impression is that neo-cons don't believe in arms control or treaties as it unbearably restrains their dominance schemes after all, a global benevolent hegemon is bound by nothing but his inherent great- and goodness. Iirc John Bolton is on record saying stuff like: International law is a weapon of the weak, implying that military force is the preferred weapon of the strong as it involves not having to make any concessions, and if you the strongest, why should you. Interesting attitude.

What? No more politics of the free hand? International law? Humanitarian law? UN Charter? Torture is prohibited? What a dire threat to sovereignty! Quelle horreur! The end is nigh!

ThomasOfNY

Based on the Wikipedia entry, Israel is not a signatory to the NPT

confusedponderer

PS: People often say that, in light of their rhetoric, for the neo-cons it is always 1938. While there is a lot to that - as far as international law is concerned it is always 1900.

In their view of international law there is no place for pesky humanitarian laws, international treaties and international bodies like the UN. They consider all that as aberrations. All that only slows hegemons down when they are fulfilling their destiny to change the world. To the better, of course, and for the good of all involved.

Indeed, if one does indeed embraces the concept of America as a giant unbound, then international law - which imposes obligations and restrictions on said hegemon are a bad thing because they restrict 'freedom of action', which in their view per see is essential.

Arguably the Israelis subscribe to a similar view, resulting, among other things, in their rejection of the NPT.

In German history these 'politics of the free hand' (only in German) characterise the post-Bismarck foreign policy, that resulted in Germany alienating most of her neighbours, and that ended in disaster - the triple entente.

Of course that historical analogy falls short since the US are incomparable. Ask Max Boot. Not to mention Israel ... alienating neighbours and ending up in isolation? No way.

Phoenix Woman

Wonder what the JCS think of Bibi and Avi's telling the Likudniks over here to back an attack on Iran, being as that would cause Sadr to call an end to the Shiite truce with coalition forces in Iraq? (Particularly since the truce is the main reason Iraq isn't a total abbatoir for US troops and mercenaries right now.)

JohnH

Israel is not a signatory to the NPT yet demands others abide by it. This position, more than any other, illustrates that Israel believes it is above the law. And it is, because nobody will make Israel play by the rules. Is there any precedent for such a minor, otherwise irrelevant country getting away with murder?

maryjane

informative

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